"It’s never very crowded at the front."
- – Gen. Creighton Abrams
"Crunchie: Term used by a Tank Crewman to describe a dismounted infantry Soldier, derived from the sound that they make when the tank rolls over them."
- – US Army Slang
The M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank is the premier armored fighting vehicle in the United States Arsenal. The first totally new tank developed by the United States after the end of the Second World War, the Abrams is a force to be reckoned with by those who wish to tear down democracy and oppress those who are weaker than they. It is armed with:
- A stabilized M68 - an American license-built version of the British L7 - 105mm rifled cannon,
- A single pintle mounted .50, aka .50 BMG or 12.7x99mm, M2 Browning heavy machine gun for the Commander,
- And a pair of M240 light machine guns chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO, one for the loader and one mounted coaxially with the main gun.
While the Abrams' primary mission is to destroy enemy armor, the protection of the crew has not been neglected in the design. The M1 Abrams is protected by Chobham Armour plating on the turret cheek, mantlet, and lower glacis, as well as the turret sides. Chobham is said to be as difficult to penetrate as 2 meters of solid steel (against HEAT rounds at any rate), constructed of panels of high hardness ceramic, steel, and textiles such as Kevlar and Spectra, interspliced with air. The consensus is that against KE, the M1 had 400mm of protection, and 700mm of protection v. HEAT. Some areas were different, but eh. The ready-use ammunition is mounted in the rear of the turret in a specially designed compartment. If the ammunition is hit, purpose-built blowout panels direct the explosion up and away from the crew compartment, ensuring the survival of the crew even if the ammo begins to cook off. It is worth noting that if said ammunition compartment's hydraulic blast doors are open upon detonation... Not much of a difference.
If you don't have a raging freedom boner right now, something is seriously wrong. Either that or you’re an Iraqi still living in your POS Lion of Babylon aka a worse T-72M knockoff and you still fap to a portrait of Saddam Hussein.
In Team Yankee
The M1 Abrams is an excellent tank in "Team Yankee," even if the overall real-world hype about it is somewhat exaggerated. It offers some of the best armor, firepower and mobility of any main battle tank in the game, and is the best MBT the U.S. Army of 1985 had to offer. Caught in the midst of phasing out the much older M60 Patton in favor of this all-new tank, the Army is sending all its armored forces in Europe into the fight with whatever they are currently using. The Abrams is a worthy foe for the Warsaw Pact's cheap but numerous T-series tanks and then some.
The M1's Front Armor is tied with the Leopard 2 and the Chieftain Stillbrew as the second-strongest in the game at 18, and the side armor is an impressive 8. In addition, with the release of the Stripes Book, you may now upgrade any and all of the Abrams in a platoon the IPM1 Abrams (the IP standing for "Improved Performance") for +1pt each. The IPM1 boasts an extra point of armor all around, with the strongest frontal armor in the game at a value of 19 and a side armor of 10. The Chobham Armor package also bumps the side armor up to 16 against HEAT weapons, ie. most guided missiles. Against 120mm shells from enemy tanks above 16", you need a 2 to test for bailing which makes it preeetty good against Ruskie tanks, never mind Leopard 1s or T-72Ms.
Take note that the additional armour will not help against top-end ATGMs from the Hind, Frogfoot or the Storm ATGM carrier.
Abrams enthusiasts will note that this is the 1980s Abrams, the original M1, meaning it retains the exact same 105mm M68 cannon used in the M60 Patton. The 120mm gun adopted from the Leopard 2 was not installed until the M1A1 version, which was still years away from entering service in 1985. That said, that 105mm cannon is a pretty decent damage dealer, with a ROF of 2 both while halted and moving, meaning that no matter what, you will always have 2 dice to roll. The M68 is improved by an Advanced Stabilizer, so you can haul ass both toward and away from the foe at full Tactical Speed and suffer no penalties. As well as the M68, the Abrams carries a trio of machine guns; a .50-caliber M2 Browning is mounted on the roof alongside a 7.62mm-caliber M240 and can be used for AA work, while another coaxial-mounted M240 enables the Abrams to deal with infantry and lightly-armored targets without using its tank round.
You can take the Abrams in platoons of up to four tanks, with a minimum of two tanks in a platoon. Each standard Abrams costs 8 points; the IPM1 costs 9 points.
IPM1 VS. M1
For those who are a little in the dark on the difference between an M1 and an IPM1 Abrams, the M1 Abrams is the first model of the Abrams to see service, while the IPM1 is a slightly up-armoured version made to bridge the gap between the M1 and the M1A1 Abrams, having the armour of the latter but the Firepower of the Former. Does this mean that someday we will see a M1A1 in game with the armour of the IPM1 and the firepower of the Leopard 2? No one really knows, even though the model package has all the parts for an M1A1! Hell, by 1985 the US had deployed half of all M1A1s to Western Europe. In any event, the IP had a slightly longer turret from extra armor. Also, the M1A1 would probably be a very expensive tank due to the sheer power, especially in the era of Team Yankee.
Now, I bet that you are wondering why you would ever take a plain M1 now that the IPM1 is available (besides the fact that you bought them before Stripes came out and didn't know it was possible to have any other Abrams variant.
Screw you too Battlefront). Like a lot of things in wargaming, it all comes down to numbers. If you are running a force with a lot of Abrams, the extra point per vehicle is going to add up quickly. For example, let's say you are running a maxed out Abrams Combat Team. Starting off you have 2 tanks in your command squad. Well, an extra two points aren't too bad, so let's add more. The requisite two Abrams platoons have 4 tanks each, so now we're at an additional 10 points, and the final platoon tacks on an extra 4 points, for a grand total of 14 points.
For reference, that is two whole Mechanized Platoons that you could have taken instead. Also, since the IPM1 does not have an increase in firepower over the M1 you haven't gotten any better at dealing with the enemy, just better at tanking (heh) their fire, which isn't even that great of an issue since the M1 is already pretty fantastic at taking fire with its Front armour of 18, and if you lose a tank you have 17 more to avenge its loss.
Instead, you should take the IMP1 in lists where you are limited to small numbers of tanks like the Mechanized Team. Since you have fewer tanks, it becomes imperative that you do everything in your power to keep them in the fight for as long as possible, and the cost increase of, at max, 4 is significantly more manageable.
M1 ===> Good when you have tanks to spare, or in large point cap games because edge in spamminess.
IPM1 ===> Good when you don't have numbers or smaller point cap games, and you need every tank to survive attack.
In the 1960s the US Army began to search for a replacement for the M60 Patton. In this effort, they joined forces with West Germany in development of the MBT-70, an innovative design which featured the entire crew situated in the Turret and sporting a 152mm Gun/missile launcher similar to that of the M551 Sheridan. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you ask) the MBT-70 Program was canceled before the vehicle was ready for production due to excessive costs. It was not a total failure, however, as the West Germans took the lessons learned from the project and created the Leopard 2 and the Americans took their data and created the M1 Abrams.
The M1 Abrams and its subsequent variants have been in service with the US Military for close to 40 Years. First introduced in 1980, the Abrams has gone through several updates to keep pace with the requirements of the modern battlefield. The first major update was in 1985 the M1A1 which swapped out the 105mm rifled L7 gun for a 120mm Smoothbore (which by the way is included in the Abrams kit and as of 1985 150 M1A1 tanks were in Germany waiting for the war to go hot seriously Team Yankee wikipedia doesn't get this wrong). The latest iteration is the M1A2, which has been upgraded with more advanced targeting equipment and improved defense systems from lessons learned fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's also gotten better armor to stop the new shiny guns and missiles. However, please note: The original M1 Abrams had practically no armor whatsoever versing KE, as most APFSDS rounds went straight through turret, hull, mantlet, anything, below 1500 meters. This kind of makes sense because the M1 was built around the assumption that the T-72 (which the Americans were expecting the Abrams to engage with) would be equipped with the same 115mm smoothbore gun as the T-62, but it turned out that the T-72 used a much more powerful 125mm gun. The new intel about the larger and more powerful Soviet tank gun was part of the reason that the Abrams eventually received DU (Depleted Uranium) armour and a 120mm L44 cannon for the M1A1HA version onwards.
The M1A2C is currently in the process of deployment to US Army units in the field due to the Factory getting done ahead of schedule, containing all the wonders of modern technology including but not limited to:
- More powerful shells like the M859A3 and A4, designed to penetrate the heavy reactive armor instead of brute forcing.
- Improved view sights that are in color, so no more B&W guesswork.
- Better computer networks, data links, improved laser range finders, danger indicators, and improved meteorological sensors. Just better electronics in general.
- A shiny new Active Protection System to stop rocket weapons.
A M1A3 variant is currently in development to design a lighter tank that may one day be more air transportable, as the M1A2's fat ass weighs in at 68 tons meaning something like the C-5 Galaxy, one of the largest planes in the world, can only take off with two on board rather than the three that can physically fit in the cargo hold. This will be difficult as apparently politics make upgrades more affordable than new-ish tanks. Eventually, though, the mainframe of the tank will wear out and new ones will have to be manufactured. Eventually.
The one noteworthy addition will be the long overdue Active Protection System (Trophy System), basically a system that shoots incoming projectiles like RPGs out of the air before they make contact with the tank proper. They bought the Trophy system from Israel because it's a more battle-tested system than the Quick Kill system (US development). The US's own Quick Kill system, similar to Trophy, accomplishes the same job. The US armed forces plans to use both in the latest versions of the Abrams by 2020.
|US Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Troops:||US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon|
|Artillery:||M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM|
|Tank Hunters:||M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT|
|Recon:||M113 FIST- M113 Scout Section - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25|
|Aircraft:||A-10 Warthog - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AV-8 Harrier|